Ulster Unionist Party
Alison Bennington secured a seat on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
In the weeks before the general election I echoed a number of other commentators (and some of the more realistic senior Labour
Nationalist and Loyalist murals are a reminder of Northern Ireland's recent past Lord Robertson, the former Labour MP and
Whenever a political party's annual conference takes place, one can look forward to nothing but speeches, applause at regular intervals, speeches, workshops, goody bags filled with pens and branded notebooks, and maybe a speech. It's like Christmas for politicos, and last week's UUP Annual Party Conference at Belfast's Ramada Hotel was no different.
Ever since the Good Friday peace agreement of 1998, parties on both side of the divide have, albeit slowly, attempted to move things forward. And forward things have moved, as I explained at the start. However, a critical demographic have been left behind: the working class and the radicals within.
Northern Irish politician Basil McCrea is the only member of the Unionist community to speak in favour of a motion that called for full marriage equality in Northern Ireland. His bravery should be applauded.
It is now up to the people of Northern Ireland to ask our assembly members to take bold steps for equality. Perhaps one day, in the near future, we will defeat prejudice and intolerance against the LGBT community for good and Homophobia won't ever be an acceptable replacement for sectarian hatred.
I thank the Policy Exchange for supporting Equal Marriage and hope to extrapolate more support within a Northern Ireland context.